Living Our Dreams - Pleasing The Senses

Claude Chouinard

Our world can be a very stressful place: in traffic jammed cities, prisoners of our devices, reachable 24 hours a day, living a competitive life, constantly struggling to reach targets and make deadlines. No wonder, says Claude Chouinard, co-founder of Bali’s ONEWORLD Retreats, that more and more visitors coming to Bali value the island for the tranquility of its still amazing beauty.

"People want to escape from their daily - sometimes unsatisfactory - life and wish to immerse themselves in a more or less timeless world, without demands. Bali has great therapeutic power to calm and heal." Just looking at the rice fields, flowering trees and mountain vistas of Bali, in all their many moods and colors, is magical. To that, and the powerful spirituality of the island’s natives. If one can melt into this great diversity, one can find peace within.

It is on this island that Claude chose to live the dream of giving people the opportunity to live experiences at a deeper level while being free of any fears or difficulties. "A treat to the self is how Iyan and I read the word Retreat. We aim to show another image of life, without pressure. After all, we are only on earth for a short time so we should define our dreams and reach them."

Escape the World program is designed to offer life experiences that take participants into a different dimension, in places to feel freedom. The program exists since 2003 and has seen thousands of people benefitting over the years. Besides, there is ‘Follow your Dreams’, a retreat/workshop designed to offer life experiences that take participants into a different dimension, in places to feel freedom. It is developed to set in motion a process to reach our own aspirations. Creating and offering happiness is Claude’s life mission.

Claude himself went through a process, leaving the day-to-day secured life to embark on a one-year spiritual journey in 1992 which led him to live a life on the road less traveled for almost 8 years. The conclusion was the realization of a dream to share his experiences with others by setting up a retreat centre where people get the opportunity to re-evaluate their lives and re-discover their true selves and values; without pressures and in an unpretentious yet comfortable and enjoyable way.

Claude's relation and fascination with the Balinese and Javanese culture has made the dream grow. The region of Ubud is very special on this small island; the depth of the Balinese culture began around Ubud while the deepest roots are in Java.

Far from tourism diminishing spirituality, Claude believes that because Balinese are pleased when foreigners come to the island to learn from them, spirituality is being deepened and expanded. One never truly understands the Balinese mythology where the rituals abound and remain deeply respected. Life in Bali is different and it is a matter of letting go, respecting and embracing another way of living, of thinking and believing. Oneworld retreats enables sharing this experience.